Finding Zen in Zzz’s Recipe: Tryptophan-Rich Yellowfin Tuna Burger
As much as the day’s activities, your stress level, and other lifestyle factors affect how well you sleep at night, various foods can also help you get a good night’s rest. Jennifer Ferdinand, CMT, CHHC, at Wellness Week™ participant Serendipity Wellness Studio in Fairfax, Virginia, gave us a basic breakdown of what our bodies need for restful sleep and why.
“In order to get a restful night’s sleep, you must have appropriate levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for a good mood and required for sleep,” Ferdinand tells SpaFinder. “In order to produce serotonin, you need to provide your body appropriate levels of amino acids, specifically tryptophan.”
Meals that are high in tryptophan and carbohydrates, and low to medium in protein will help you relax in the evening and set you up for a good night’s sleep.
With the list of tryptophan-rich foods Ferdinand provided us, we thought this Yellowfin Tuna Burger recipe from Saybrook Point Inn & Spa fit the bill perfectly. Encrusted with sesame seeds and served with wasabi mayonnaise and seaweed salad, this unique burger is full of tryptophan-rich foods! Be sure to use a whole-grain roll and purchase U.S. troll-caught, pole-caught or handline-caught yellowfin tuna – these are environmentally friendly fishing techniques, making it a “Best Choice” in Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch List! To learn more about choosing seafood wisely, visit Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch section.
Yellowfin Tuna Burger Ingredients (Serves 6):
2 lbs ground yellowfin tuna loin
3¼ tsp toasted white sesame seeds
3¼ tsp toasted black sesame seeds
3¼ tsp soy sauce
3¼ tsp sesame seed oil
6½ tsp minced pickled ginger
4 tbsp sweet soy sauce
¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
6 whole grain rolls, toasted
Wasabi Mayonnaise Ingredients:
1¼ tsp wasabi powder
⅜ tsp water
¾ cup light mayonnaise
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine and thoroughly mix all ingredients.
3. Divide the mixture to form 6 burger patties (6 oz. each).
4. Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat and sear the patties, until golden brown. Carefully flip the patties and cook the other side for 5 minutes.
5. Finish baking in the oven until golden brown, or to desired doneness; medium rare is suggested.
6. For the Wasabi Mayonnaise: Thoroughly mix wasabi powder and water to form a paste, then whip in mayonnaise.
7. Assemble the burger and add some seaweed salad if you’d like, or have it on the side – seaweed is full of tryptophan, too!
Here’s a list of foods Ferdinand tells us are high in the amino acid, tryptophan:
Beans Sunflower seeds Kelp
Whole grains Sesame seeds Red meats
Lentils Miso Roasted pumpkin seeds
Chickpeas Dairy products from grass fed cows Shellfish
Hazelnuts Baked potatoes, skin on Tuna
Peanuts Bananas Turkey
Eggs from pastured chickens Fish